Panel discussion on racial prejudice slated

Sheriff, county commissioner to speak Thursday

PORT TOWNSEND — Police reform and systemic racism will be highlighted in a panel discussion this week on radio station KPTZ.

The program, to be live from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday on 91.9 FM, will be with Jefferson County Sheriff Joe Nole, county commissioner Kate Dean and three Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) panelists to discuss the racial prejudice in policing, specifically in the county.

The issues have been sparked with international protests and conversations since May, when George Floyd was killed while he was in police custody in Minneapolis, Minn.

The BIPOC panelists are Sabrina Hill, Paris Jade and Sean Vinson, and the discussion will be moderated Darrell Thomas, said Ruby Fitch, KPTZ programming lead, in a press release.

Dean will make opening remarks.

“We have people of color in our community who feel profiled and unprotected by law enforcement,” Dean said. “And we have a sheriff who is concerned and wants to learn and listen.

“It’s OK to talk about racism,” she said. “It’s OK to talk about reform. It’s OK to talk about what we appreciate about law enforcement. All these things can be true at the same time.

“It’s time to start the conversation about how to make justice work for everyone.”

Nole said he looks forward to have an opportunity to discuss the topic with panelists.

“I’m looking forward to hearing about the experiences and taking questions from the panel members regarding this important subject,” he said. “No one should be fearful of law enforcement or be treated differently because of their race or ethnicity.

“This conversation is not just for people of color, but for the entire community.”

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Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached by email at [email protected] or by phone at 360-385-2335, ext. 5.

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